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Is it possible to become a psychiatrist if my BA is in psychology?

Can I go on to become a psychiatrist if my undergraduate major is psychology? How many extra chemistry/STEM classes will I have to take in order to qualify for medical school? #medicine #psychology #graduate-school #college-bound #human-resources #college-jobs #changing-careers #career-details

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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Vera,


The path you described does not include the training necessary to administer medications safely, so you cannot become a psychiatrist through that route. Instead, you need to go to medical school. Psychiatrists are MDs.


Start out by earning your bachelor’s degree in psychology, just as you planned. Actually, you can choose another major if you prefer to, because there is no required major for medical school admissions. You do need to make sure regardless though that you take all the prerequisite courses for medical school. Usually this includes a couple of basic chemistry classes (including organic), biology, and physics, along with basic English.


You will also need to take the MCAT exam at some point while you are in your junior year. Keep your GPA high so that you can qualify for admission.


Your next step to becoming a psychiatrist will be to attend medical school. You will usually need to stay in medical school for around four to five years. Part of becoming a psychiatrist is completing a psychiatric residency. This also takes about four years. You’ll get experience in a variety of areas when you are in your residency. After that, you will need to pass the licensing exam issued by your state. After you are licensed, you also should consider getting certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.


Keep your grades high in high school and in college, and make sure you are covering all your prerequisite requirements. It is a wise idea to come up with a time table for completion of your degrees and to work with an advisor to ensure you are on track. That way you will be able to complete your education in a timely fashion and begin working as a psychiatrist as soon as possible.


Even though it takes a long time to become a licensed psychiatrist, it can be a very rewarding career!


Source: http://www.careerigniter.com/questions/can-i-major-in-psychology-to-become-a-psychiatrist/


Best!

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Maureen’s Answer

Becoming a psychiatrist is a long process starting with a medical degree. A B.A. in psychology is a good start. What you are probably lacking is all science classes you need to become a doctor. Getting into medical school is very competitive so achieving good grades in these classes in very important. Then after 4 years in medical school you then have to spend 2-3 years taking courses in your area of specialization . So after your B.A. you will spend another 7 years in school followed by a residency where you will have an opportunity to work under other professionals.

Becoming a psychologist involves obtaining a PH.D which usually is a 3 year process following your B.A. in psychology.
Your decision depend a lot on the kind of patients you want to treat. Psychiatrists tend to treat those with serious mental illness. Psychologist in general treat normal people who are having difficulties coping with their marriage, child rearing issues, and other problems that life throws our way.

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Richard’s Answer

To apply to medical school to become a psychiatrist you will need to take the MCAT and also take the premed prerequisites.

Typical medical school prerequisites include:
Biology: Lecture – 4 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
General Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Organic Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Biochemistry: Lecture – 1 semester
General Physics: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Math: Statistics – 1 semester
English: Rhetoric (Composition) and Literature – 2 semesters
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William’s Answer

Yes, you can become a psychiatrist even though you concentrated on psychology in undergrad. The foundation in psychology should be very helpful to you in psychiatry.

I would try and take as many courses in chemistry and the biological sciences as possible. Those courses will prepare you well for medical school.


Hope I have been of help.


Bill Cox

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